24 May 2009

a bird which died advised me to / commit flight to memory.

Forough Farrokhzad's short documentary The House is Black can be viewed at UbuWeb.

Leprosy is chronic and contagious. Leprosy is not hereditary. Leprosy can be anywhere or everywhere. Leprosy goes with poverty. Upon attacking the body it deepens and enlarges wrinkles, eats away the tissues, covers the nerves with a dry shield, dulls sensitivity to heat and touch, causes blindness, destroys the nasal septum, it finds its way to the liver and bone marrow, withers the fingers, it clears the way for other diseases.

Leprosy is not incurable. Taking care of lepers stops the disease from spreading. Wherever lepers have been adequately cared for, the disease has vanished. When the leper is cared for early, he can be treated completely. Leprosy is not incurable.

The filmmaker, Forough Farrokhzad, is considered one of the most accomplished modern Iranian poets. Though her mastery of poetic form in Persian is probably difficult to translate into English, free translations capture something of the spirit.

Two excerpts from "Another Brith" (click here to read the whole thing):

Life is perhaps
a rope with which a man hangs himself from a branch
life is perhaps a child returning home from school.


I will plant my hands in the garden
I will grow I know I know I know and
swallows will lay eggs
in the hollow of my ink-stained hands.

"The Couple":

Night comes
and after night, darkness
and after darkness
and breathing and more breathing
and the sound of water
which drips drips drips
from the faucet.

then two red points
from two lighted cigarettes
the clock's tick-tock
and two heads
and two lonelinesses.
Much more of Forough's poetry, occasionally with Persian audio of the poems available, can be read at http://www.forughfarrokhzad.org/.

"I believe in being a poet in all moments of life. Being a poet means being human. I know some poets whose daily behavior has nothing to do with their poetry. In other words, they are only poets when they wrote poetry. Then it is finished and they turn into greedy, indulgent, oppressive, shortsighted, miserable, and envious people. Well, I cannot believe their poems. I value the realities of life and when I find these gentlemen making fists and claims--that is, in their poems and essays--I get disgusted, and I doubt their honesty. I say to myself: Perhaps it is only for a plate of rice that they are screaming. "


Anonymous said...

any news coming ?

Anonymous said...

Ah, the land of the free!
You have the right to free speech as long as you speak English.
best regards, Greg